Some home cooking could be all that Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins needed. Bergeron scored the fourth hat trick of his career as the B's topped the Ottawa Senators 6-3 in a mostly strong home opener for Boston on Monday afternoon at TD Garden.
The Bruins needed to get off to a quick start after an uneven first two games, and they certainly got that. Patrice Bergeron made it 1-0 B's just 30 seconds into the game after he buried the rebound off a bid from David Pastrnak, who crashed the net short-side to set him up.
The Senators started to get into an offensive rhythm midway through the first, leading to the Bruins scrambling to stop the puck on a point-blank opportunity. Defenseman Brandon Carlo sprawled across the crease to give Tuukka Rask the assist and David Backes also blocked a shot attempt amid the chaos.
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Boston regained control of the pace after drawing a pair of penalties. The Bruins cashed in on the second chance, when Bergeron buried his second of the game off a backhand feed from Brad Marchand.
Ottawa started fast in the second and were rewarded with a quick goal to make it 2-1 just 2:21 into the period. After Rask made a pair of saves, Ryan Dzingel gathered the loose puck and whacked it into the back of the net. Jake DeBrusk lost his coverage after Sens winger Brady Tkachuk made a line change with Dzingel, who weaved his way through traffic untouched to the net. Zdeno Chara couldn't clear the puck from in front, and for a moment the lead was cut to one.
But about five minutes later, the Bruins answered. Sean Kuraly won a puck battle on the half boards in the Ottawa zone and fed it to the point for Charlie McAvoy, who slipped a shot toward Chris Wagner for a deflection that trickled past Senators goalie Mike Condon and put the Bruins up 3-1.
Dzingel got the Senators back within one with 7:47 left in the second after he ripped a shot from the point over Rask's glove. Zdeno Chara appeared to be screening Rask on the play.
The Bruins got back on track to start the third period, starting with Bergeron. He completed the hat trick when he gained the zone and his backhand shot deflected in off Sens defenseman Cody Ceci. Hats rained down on the TD Garden ice, and Bergeron even helped crew members pick them up.
He later assisted on an insurance goal by Pastrnak. The latter quickly added a second score in the empty net shortly after the Senators scored their third off the stick of Bobby Ryan, finishing off a late flurry of scoring from both sides.
In all, Bergeron (hat trick, assist) and Pastrnak (two goals, two assists) each finished with four points on the afternoon.
Despite some resilience from the Senators, the Bruins never trailed and controlled the majority of the action. Besides a pair of brief stretches in the second period, the game never felt in doubt. The Bruins' zone entries and play along the boards were much cleaner compared to the season opener against the Washington Capitals, which naturally led to more scoring chances and better ones at that.
Up Next: The Bruins (2-1-0) will look to keep it going in a home matchup against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night at TD Garden. Puck drops shortly after 7 p.m. ET.
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